Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Do you never feel embarassed?


awel

Recommended Posts

I have always played 10-46 but as already discussed in a previous tread, due to the fact that now a show means 2h of playing as guitar lead, and specially due to the fact that with a 15 months old baby, almost no time to practice at home, I used to had my fingertips destroyed, even bleeding sometimes after a show, I have decided to switch to 9-46 which is very comfortable and fine for me now.

 

But I have growed with SRV music and so all the interview in the magazine about how good it is to play with heavy gauge, especially for Blues Rock Classic Rock stuff. and almost all the players I like are/were playing at least 10-46, 10-52, 11-48...

 

So it bother me even embarassed me when I think that now I play a ridiculous 9-46 set.

 

I know that it is comfort that has priority but ...

It is stupid but sometimes I feel kinda like 'OK, I am playing these children gauges, so I can't pretend to play the blues' :)

 

Did anyone already think/feel the same?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wimp!

 

I think there are a LOT of great players that go 9-42. Time was it was the most popular gauge.

 

If you really used a certain gauge for tone, are you sure it wouldn't end up being the lighter?

 

When I was playing all the time, I used various gauges because, I felt that is what the particular guitar liked. I recall using 9-42 on a Strat or two, and on most I had 10-46. I have one that just loves 11-52, or various 11's. I felt also, that when the guitar likes the strings, it doesn't feel all that different to me.

 

BUT- I haven't played very much in a few years, and I just might, maybe, be in the same boat. And if the fingers start to hurt, and I had to play....

 

We should make this the wimpy strings support group.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wimp!

 

I think there are a LOT of great players that go 9-42. Time was it was the most popular gauge.

 

If you really used a certain gauge for tone, are you sure it wouldn't end up being the lighter?

 

When I was playing all the time, I used various gauges because, I felt that is what the particular guitar liked. I recall using 9-42 on a Strat or two, and on most I had 10-46. I have one that just loves 11-52, or various 11's. I felt also, that when the guitar likes the strings, it doesn't feel all that different to me.

 

BUT- I haven't played very much in a few years, and I just might, maybe, be in the same boat. And if the fingers start to hurt, and I had to play....

 

We should make this the wimpy strings support group.

 

The wimpy strings support group, I like that [thumbup]

:) :) :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my fingers are just used to a certain amount of tension. and it also depends on the scale of the guitar, what i use. i use 9's on my Strat. I use 10's on my Gibson's & PRS. But i use 11's if I tune down a have step. my issue has always been sometimes from bending strings my nails and fingers will start to separate.regardless of the gauge. i'll suddenly notice theres blood on my fingers. a small drop of super glue, nail & finger now reattached...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just do what feels right to you and don't think about anyone else's perception (real or imagined).

 

I don't think it's possible to find the perfect string; all we can do is find the perfect string for right now. A year from now, ten years from now, you may decide you like 11s.

 

I had one steady customer back in the 80s that looked like a heavy metal version of Brian Setzer and he was one of the most testosterone-driven players I've ever met. Wouldn't even adjust his strap so the guitar played comfortable; he HAD to have it down around his knees so he looked cool.

 

All that, and he played 8-38s.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've tried 9s because I have trouble playing barre chords for entire songs. Single note leads I have no problem with 10s. I don't really care much for the 9s. I found them to be buzzy when strumming and they didn't 'push back' enough to play fast rhythms.

 

My solution to the barre chords is that I bought a Gibson Midtown Kalamazoo, which has a 23.5" scale. At one time I strung it with flatwound 11s, which was too chimey for my style of playing, was still hard to do barre chords and I didn't like the wound G string. I took off the 11s, all but the B and high E strings, and replaced the rest of the set with 10s. So I have the B and E of the 11s and the G (unwound), D, A, E of a set of 10s. For the MK it's perfect because the high strings of a 10 were too light on the 23.5" scale and got buzzy, but the high 11s play like 10s.

 

All my other electrics are strung with 10s now. I just struggle with the barre chords when I have to play them. For the most part I play lead in my band anyway.

 

If you do use 9s you're in great company.

 

Check this out:

 

String Myths

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've played 10s for my entire musical career (50+ yrs) I have heavier strings on my J200, but I'm not playing rock tunes on it and therefore don't have to bend strings. I can only get about a semi-tone out of bending on the J200....LOL

As Tommy Smothers once said, "The fatter the string the fatter the sound". That always stuck with me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You finesse players with your 9's.

 

I've been playing 11's for so long I don't even remember when I switched. I've also been a ham handed Neanderthal player for years so heavy strings are a necessity. I just cannot help it; when the music gets going I lose control. A set of 9's wouldn't last me half a song.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the idea that you need fat strings for big tone is ridiculous b.s.

if it was true, billy gibbons who uses 8s would have thin tone. and a host of others, like tomi iommi for instance. the idea that you need fat strings for big tone ignores the giant pile of other factors that effect your tone. if you have fingers like sausages, you may need big strings for control. iirc stevie's fingers were huge.

 

so we have billy gibbons using 8s

toni iommi using 8s

hendrix used 9s

steve howe using 8s

evh uses 9s

clapton used 9s for a long time

dave davies used 8s

albert king uses 9s

bb king uses 8s

alex lifeson uses 9s

carlos santana uses 9s

frank marino played 7s

kk downing uses 8s

glenn tipton uses 9s

joe walsh uses 9s

angus uses 9s

brian may uses 9s

pagey uses 7s and 8s. gonna argue with him? hahahaha

 

google is your friend. the truth is out there, you don't have to work so hard just cause some random internet guy says heavy strings are where it's at. they're actually not where it's at, unless you have big fingers, and control issues.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm almost embarrassed now......

 

I go up to 0.11. Quite like a 0.10 set with 0.11 on top.

Or an 0.11 set with 0.17 G plain instead of 0.18 (on the Strat).

I find a wound G is ok too on semis these days......

 

Cheers all!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have neither sausage fingers (they've been called bony before) nor control issues, I find light gauge strings uncomfortable. EXL115s feel right. It's as simple as that. What strings some other wanker uses for 'r0K tohhhnnzzz' means absolutely nothing to me. I am not now, nor will I ever be, any of those people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play 9's just like you do. I'm honestly embarrassed to admit that I used to play 12's and 13's "for the tone.,." :rolleyes:

 

That!!!

I believe it was BB King that asked Billy Gibbons why he wanted to work so hard when playing guitar and got him to drop string gauge to make playing easier...

 

Billy now uses 7's...

 

I think their tone is plenty good enough!

 

I used to string my American Standard Strat with 13's trying to chase Strat tone from talk of SRV's strings etc... It's even more elusive than Gibson tone with the massively over proliferation of Strats...

 

I never found it and was always disappointed. Then I had the axe set up by a professional luthier and got it back with 10's on it, it was much much better...

 

Now I can't stand anything other than 9's. (and I don't play a Strat anymore either) I hate stiff/inflexible strings/action and I get gobs of vintage tone out of 9's!

 

I can't even stand Hybrids; 9-46's... I can feel them noticeably stiffer/harder.

 

I've never been happier and never felt a more comfortable gauge of strings than my Ernie Ball Super Slinky's; .009" - .042"

 

It's all I use!

 

And I'm not in the least bit embarrassed to admit it!!!

 

I experiment every now and again thinking I'll gain something with heavier gauges, but I never do and I always gravitate back...

 

Everyone's touch/feel/technique is different and unique. You have to find what you like best, and what works best for you, but thickening up strings "for tone" is a fallacy and a myth, period.

 

Different guitars respond better to different gauges sometimes depending upon neck characteristics, but most will adjust to a good action with any gauge in most circumstances.

 

Play what's most comfortable, doesn't tear you up, and allows you to want to play more and more and more! It's just common-sense...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe it was BB King that asked Billy Gibbons why he wanted to work so hard when playing guitar and got him to drop string gauge to make playing easier...

 

Billy now uses 7's...

 

I think their tone is plenty good enough!

 

A lot of people use Billy Gibbons as an example of quality tone from light strings, but seems to me his tone is pretty much a$$ these days. Don't get me wrong, he's still a bad mofo, and I love his playing, but the tone has suffered over the years. Whatever he used on those first four albums is what I'd be sticking with! Just sayin'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another proud 9 guy here. I use 9s on all my electrics except my ESP that's geared more toward metal. That one gets a hybrid 10-52 set. Heck, I even use 9s on my Fender acoustic! I've heard the argument that 10s are the lightest gauge you should use on a 24 3/4 neck scale, but I've never had problems setting one up with 9s. The bottom line is: Use what works for the guitar and feels comfortable to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play 10s on a semi and solid bodies, 11s on other semis, and 12s on hollows and acoustics. I like a low action and play lightly. I don't even try to bend 12s and find that it is harder for me to play chords with thin strings and make them sound in tune. Acoustics need higher gauges. I can bend 10s as far as I need to with little effort, 11s are harder, but I don't bend 11s far anyway. Hey, I'm more of a jazz guy... what can I say? 9s are just too slinky feeling and sounding for me.

 

I also like flat wound strings on semis and hollows.

 

I'm comfortable with these gauges and not really concerned what others think.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I play 10s on a semi and solid bodies, 11s on other semis, and 12s on hollows and acoustics. I like a low action and play lightly. I don't even try to bend 12s and find that it is harder for me to play chords with thin strings and make them sound in tune. Acoustics need higher gauges. I can bend 10s as far as I need to with little effort, 11s are harder, but I don't bend 11s far anyway. Hey, I'm more of a jazz guy... what can I say? 9s are just too slinky feeling and sounding for me.

 

I also like flat wound strings on semis and hollows.

 

I'm comfortable with these gauges and not really concerned what others think.

 

EXACTLY!!!

 

Everyone's different... Play what suits oneself...

 

Thinking you have to have heavier gauge strings to achieve tone is simply untrue. Like I said, Billy gibbons plays 7's after dropping down from 8's after Jim Dunlop perfected a consistent set with a .007" high E-string...

 

I wouldn't argue with The Reverend Willie G or BB King's tone (it was BB that convinced him to shoot for more comfort in playing lighter gauge strings) either...

 

If anyone thinks Billy needs be embarrassed about playing the lightest string gauge, then we all got problems...

 

Sting gauge needs to be about personal choice and tone is not in question, period!

 

Possibly unique/singular guitar construction/action dynamics will play a part, but it's a rare exception that you can't set up a guitar to work with a gauge you prefer...

 

Next...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A lot of people use Billy Gibbons as an example of quality tone from light strings, but seems to me his tone is pretty much a$$ these days. Don't get me wrong, he's still a bad mofo, and I love his playing, but the tone has suffered over the years. Whatever he used on those first four albums is what I'd be sticking with! Just sayin'

Personally, I think in some ways better and in some ways worse.

 

One thing for sure, Rev Gibbons likes to experiment.

 

One aspect I would mention, is that recording and mastering techniques have changed drastically. What we got on those first 4 albums is all analog. We are hearing more of what REALLY happened tone wise. Being that close to the original tone may not be possible these days, or at least not practical.

 

But what I have no doubt of, is that the Rev CAN and does get tone as good as anything he ever did if and when he wants to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Personally, I think in some ways better and in some ways worse.

 

One thing for sure, Rev Gibbons likes to experiment.

 

One aspect I would mention, is that recording and mastering techniques have changed drastically. What we got on those first 4 albums is all analog. We are hearing more of what REALLY happened tone wise. Being that close to the original tone may not be possible these days, or at least not practical.

 

But what I have no doubt of, is that the Rev CAN and does get tone as good as anything he ever did if and when he wants to.

 

I get what Surf's sayin'...

 

It's clear The Rev has declined with age. I cannot argue that point, but that conversation (between Billy and BB and the subsequent string gauge change) took place many many moons ago when he was still in the peak of his mojo...

 

Hell I think I've seen evidence from YouTube vids of ZZ's recent concerts where it seems like they are playing over backing tracks of their own songs to insure "sonic quality."

 

But he's still Billy Gibbons...

 

On top of that the experimentation thing is Spot-on Stein! Between different axes, different bridges/hardware, and different wiring schemes between his guitars nothing is stock!

 

He really has a mind for innovation and between his 3-knob Les Paul GoldTop and the SG with what appears to be a Grestch sideways vibrato bar (like) from Live @ Darrel's House, he really pushes the envelope of what makes a classic guitar and what makes one better...

 

He's played about every kind of axe ever, and while seemingly best know for his Pearly Gates '59 LP, he's nearly as well known for Tele, Flying-V, Explorer, Billy-Bo, not to mention those fuzzy things and all the custom jobs he's played on-stage over the years along with his Muddy-Wood guitar made from a plank from the shack where Muddy Waters was born/grew-up...

 

He is a true innovator and I'd suggest that it may have been 8's most of his career since that conversation w/BB, long before the Jim Dunlop 7's came about (Jim Dunlop was also the first to successfully mass-produce a consistent .008" guitar string) he has been playing light gauge strings since back well before the Sharp Dressed Man; Eliminator Tour days...

 

But I get the standard bar of his Pearly Gates in the late '69 & early 70's tone...

 

Do we wanna go further back to his "Moving Sidewalks" Psychedelic Rock days???

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87dHLPMF07g

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...